Month: July 2012

photography in motion: train ride to the suburbs

I love travelling by train while vacationing  throughout Europe, so I figured it would be nice to do the same on Amtrak (USA) while escaping to the suburbs this past weekend, to visit one of my favorite gals on earth. So,  I bought a round trip ticket and after work on Friday, I took the bus  in San Francisco to the train station in Emeryville,( just past the Bay Bridge)  for my trip to  Sacramento. The only problem with Amtrak is that, while it stops in most metropolitan cities, getting to the neighboring towns is really difficult unless there is a person picking you up on the other end or there is a connecting bus which is available to drop you off somewhere close to your destination. Anyway, I got sidetracked. But the reason for this blog entry is to share with you some of the photographs I snapped while the train was in motion (about 50 MPH to be exact) on the way to and from Sacramento. But after I uploaded the photos unto …

boutique hotel pick – hotel yountville – napa valley, california

I realize that most hotels I picked in the past  are ones I want to escape to outside of the US, but I had forgotten about the ones I don’t mind escaping to even for the weekend and those I want to recommend to my foreign followers. I don’t need to sell Napa valley to anyone visiting the great state of California, but I do want to remind those not familiar with the region, Yountville is the place to consider when choosing a hotel to stay in,  while visiting one of my favorite wine regions in the world – Napa Valley. Lucky for me it’s in my back yard.  The hotel is called   Hotel Yountville, and is ideally located almost in the center of Napa Valley. There are several restaurants to choose from for your dining pleasure and plenty of shops and boutiques and an outlet to keep you busy. There is also a golf course directly across the freeway from Yountville for those not interested in indulging in our California wines. While in Yountville, be sure to dine at my favorite …

interior decor: visions of simplicity

On occasion I contemplate owning only the simple things in life and although I have downsized quiet a bit since my move back to San Francisco, I am really considering maintaining a streamlined and simple approach to decorating my next home. This could very well be just a phase, but for now check out what I am leaning towards:

healthy eating: roasted eggplant sandwich

Eggplant is definitely one of my favorite vegetables but I am particular on how they are prepared.  Although most restaurants and delis pride themselves in offering eggplant sandwich on their menus, often times I find how they have prepared them isn’t  pleasing to my seasoned pallete.   I think the key to serving a successful eggplant dish or sandwich is  slicing them thin enough to cook or roast properly and so they absorb the  flavor they are often times soaked in. Of course, my eastern european culture offers many vartiations of preparing eggplants, but I think I am going to only share a favorite sandwich of mine from here: Roasted Eggplant Sandwich Eggplants and onions are caramelized in the oven then refreshed with a sprinkling of lemon juice and chives. For a gourmet spin on this roasted veggie sandwich, slather the bread with pesto* on one side and rosemary cannellini bean spread* on the other INGREDIENTS •2 medium eggplant, quartered & cut into 1/4 inch slices •2 red onions, quartered & cut into 1/4 inch slices •1/4 …

interior decor: in-home office space for the creative writer

I crave for an in-home office space of my own just so  I could lock the outside world out while I work on my novel and postings for my blogs. I never realized how important the space was until I sold my home a few years back. Nonetheless, while I strive towards having my very own in-home office (again), I have begun to compile photos of  my favorites to incorporate into my very own style. I  do believe that a creative writers space should be warm, inviting, colorful, comfortable, inspiring and as unique and different from the rest of the house as possible. The room should give you a sense of escape from the uniformity of every day life and traditional office spaces both in the home and at work and should be one, which can only be used by you.

the benefits of coastal living

Despite the fog throughout most of the summer in San Francisco, there are occasional days when the sun breaks through and everyone in the city heads out to the coast, just to get a glimpse of the ocean. Lucky for me, this once in a blue moon event happened on Saturday past and I was able to go on my usual walk along the coast and capture some breath taking photographs with my cell phone (of course). {click on the first photo to view the slide show and remember the photos are the property of http://www.rawsilkandsaffron.wordpress.comm – Thank you}

fashion inspired by autumn in paris

Too soon to think Autumn,  even though it is actually almost around the corner. But in the fashion world, Autumn attire is long planned and introduced. So for that, here is my favorite ensemble, inspired by the beautiful colors of fall time in Paris. Autumn in Paris by rawsilkandsaffron featuring a black pencil skirt Splendid top Miss Selfridge leather biker jacket Moschino Cheap Chic black pencil skirt $265 – Yves Saint Laurent leather sandals Emilio Pucci clutch handbag

italy vacation hot spot – lake como

I love to travel and could probably do so, ten or so months out of the year. But what I love the most about travel is discovering new places or frequenting ones which have left an unforgetable impression. One place in particular which I could actually travel too as much as George Clooney does, is Lake Como. I have grown to appreciate the region not only for it’s beauty, but also for it’s peacefulness and tranquility. Lake Como is an ideal place to hide from the world while trying to get the much needed rest and relaxation from everyday life.  There is no pressure to play tourist and the most stress I experienced was having to leave the place. There are many ways to get to Lake Como which are detailed here, and many things to see which are also detailed here. Just remember to bring a good pair of walking shoes, a camera and the desire to experience one of the most memorable and romantic vacation spots in your lifetime.

50 shades of grey casting qualifications

I am going to go out on a limb here and discuss 50 Shades of Grey  book/almost turned movie since I am a movie buff. (Ladies please don’t get offended, this is just for fun) Since there are 32Million copies of the book sold plus 14 translations, I am more than certain the book is a hit among, well mostly women. So, with that said, I have voiced my two cents worth here about the casting of Mr. Grey.   Please read here and let me know what you think? Should Ryan Gosling play the lead role or do you have  a better actor in mind and why?

weekend getaway – please stand by

Since the foggy summer days are in full swing in San Francisco, I decided to take a trip inland, about 150 miles away from the coast and spend the weekend with two of my favorite people on the planet plus a tiny yorkie. Since I haven’t yet recovered from the much needed R&R and girl talk, I would appreciate it if you could please stand by until I am back to the norm of every day life. Thanks much:)